Therapy slowed respiratory decline by almost a third, study found
FRIDAY, Nov. 30 (HealthDay News) -- The common pain reliever and anti-inflammatory ibuprofen significantly slows the decline in lung function seen in children with cystic fibrosis, U.S. researchers report.
A team at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, in Cleveland, found that children with cystic fibrosis who took high doses of ibuprofen twice a day had a 29 percent reduction in loss of lung function compared with children who did not take the drug.
"In cystic fibrosis the lungs are destroyed by chronic infection and inflammation. One of the treatments for that would be anti-inflammatory therapy," explained lead researcher Dr. Michael W. Konstan, director of the Cystic Fibrosis Center at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital.
One expert agreed that ibuprofen should be more widely used in treating the illness.
"This study confirms the benefit of ibuprofen in children with cystic fibrosis," said Dr. Bruce Marshall, vice president of clinical affairs at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
In fact, the foundation currently recommends ibuprofen therapy. "This paper is in alignment with Cystic Fibrosis Pulmonary Guideline Committee recommendations," Marshall said.
CF is a genetic disease that affects the lungs and other organs. It's characterized by thick, sticky mucus that makes it almost impossible for CF patients to fight off germs and infections. The disease is always fatal, and lung disease accounts for 85 percent of deaths among CF patients. However, advances in treatment in the last 60 years have increased life expectancy from just a few years to about 36 years.
A decade ago, Konstan had shown that daily use of ibuprofen could slow the progression of the disease. "Our hope was that that would translate into increased years of survival," he said.
Since that time ibuprofen therapy has no
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